Student Nurses Leading the Way for Change
By Megan Scali
Early in December, Molloy College nursing students Helen Pham and Kimberly Hurst were honorably appointed to the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) Health Policy Education Task Force. This newly formed task force is an NSNA initiative to put NSNA policy in to action. Each April at the NSNA annual convention nursing students from throughout the country present resolutions which, when adopted by the national house of delegates, become the basis for the policies and actions of the NSNA. Resolutions reflect areas of nursing that nursing students are passionate about improving to help the nursing profession, healthcare professionals, and the health needs of the public. All resolutions must be written within a national scope. The task force aims to analyze the resolutions which were adopted at last year's house of delegates resolutions hearing and identify how nursing students all over the country can best implement the recommendations in their daily activities.
Kimberly and Helen will be working with eleven other nursing students from all over the country. Kimberly says that the task force is meaningful to her because, "According to the Barbara H. Hagan School of Nursing handbook, as nurses we 'hold in high esteem the inherent worth and dignity of all individuals.' As a result, we have a responsibility to advocate for our patients and for the communities we serve. This task force is important because it will allow that advocacy to extend beyond the bedside." They are both ecstatic to be a part of this group of nursing students and excited to see the positive difference that their work will make for the future of nursing. About her influence within the task force, Helen reports that "I'm really hoping to make a difference in the lives of my future patients by advocating for them now as a nursing student and continue this habit throughout my professional career. If I could, I would eliminate the phrase, 'I'm just a nursing student,' because there is an abundant amount that nursing students can achieve prior to getting their license! What motivates me every day is that I am able to wake up, knowing my voice and actions can be the change that's needed in the world."
It is important for nursing students to be involved with the NSNA and other pre-professional organizations while they are in school because it extends learning past the classroom and provides them another way to advocate for their current and future patients. Molloy has total school membership to the NSNA, meaning that all nursing students have their NSNA membership fee included in their yearly school tuition and fees. This makes it easy for Molloy students to become involved with NSNA and its constituent school and state chapters in order to continue to advance their practice and aid in a seamless transition to the professional world. We are looking forward to seeing all that Helen and Kimberly accomplish during their time on this task force!